Summer's not over for 6 more days! Just because it has started to rain again and the house is actually cold when I get up in the morning and I have started to look for my coats when I go out, it doesn't mean I am accepting fall quite yet. Even if it feels a bit like fall. There are still good peaches at the market and you should quickly turn some of them into this cake. Anytime in the next 6 days.
The end-of-summer peaches are sandwiched between two layers of fluffy, bourbon soaked vanilla cake and slathered with a toasty, not too sweet, brown sugar frosting. The frosting is a little alarming to make. The first step is boiling milk and flour together into a thick goop that looks like wallpaper paste. so appetizing! But frosting magic happens when you whip the cooled paste into creamed butter and sugar. Somehow that wallpaper paste turns impossibly fluffy, toasty and caramelly from the brown sugar, but not too sweet.
adapted from smitten kitchen
- 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups buttermilk (or two cups milk soured with a splash of lemon juice)
Heat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9" cake pan with parchment paper.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Cream butter and sugar together until light in colour. Add vanilla and eggs and beat to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl and eat again until well incorporated.
On the lowest speed, beat in buttermilk. Add flour mixture in three additions. Hand mix with a spatula to incorporate before turning on the mixer will help prevent flour exploding everywhere. Scrape down bowl to make sure there are no unmixed spots.
Pour about 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cakes and run a knife around the edge so they come out of the pan cleanly.
Reserve half the batter for another use, it freezes very well in an airtight container.
peach & bourbon syrup:
- 2 peaches peeled and chopped
- 3 tbs brown sugar
- 2 tbs bourbon
- 1 tbs lemon
- 1/2 cup water
Combine everything in a small saucepan on medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves and peaches just start to soften. Strain peaches away, reserving them for the filling, and set syrup aside to cool.
- 1/2 cup peach jam
- chopped peaches from the syrup recipe
- 1 tbs bourbon
Combine ingredients and chill until ready to assemble.
brown sugar frosting:
adapted from i heart eating
- 7 tbs all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla
Combine milk and flour in a small pot and whisk constantly over medium heat until very thick. It will take around 8-10 minutes and will change quickly from thin and milk-like to a very goopy paste. Set aside to cool.
When the flour paste is cool, cream butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add flour mixture and vanilla and whip until very fluffy, and sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl well and continue to mix; unincorporated sugar likes to hide out there and make everything go all streaky and separated.
Trim any rounded top off the cake to make it flat and level. Trim off the sides if you wish, so that there is no crust on the outside of the cake. Carefully cut the cake in two layers using a bread knife, place one layer on a cake turntable or stand.
Drizzle the peach syrup evenly over both cake layers. Let it soak in for about 5 minutes. Pipe a thick wall of frosting around the outside on the bottom layer of cake, and spoon the peach filling inside in a thick layer. Carefully place the top layer onto the cake and chill for about 30 minutes to firm up. Quickly frost the chilled cake all over with remaining frosting (you may want to re-whip it for a couple minutes before frosting) and smooth using a bench scraper or offset spatula.
The cake should be refrigerated if you aren't going to eat it right away, but allow to come to room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.